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head of the Indian corn, and then unequal to contain the quantity, daily roasted. In this state they are ex- exposed for sale: the ground is enposed for sale at a very reasonable tirely covered with every European rate : we thought them excellent, but kind, and, as I have already s ated, they are seldom seen at the repasts of with many the very names of which the rich. They have also a small we have scarcely heard. I was never crustaceous animal resembling our tired of examining these fruits and shrimp, but not so well tasted. The vegetables. I have taken casts and meat market is well supplied with drawings of all I could procure of beef, mutton, and pork, and in the the former during my residence : spring kid is plentiful and cheap ; they are very numerous and extraorveal is prohibited by law. The beef dinary. and mutton are by no means equal to “ How few persons in Europe have what we have in the markets of Eu- any idea of the form or appearance, rope ; but, though these meats are not when in a state of life and vegetation, of the best quality, they are by no of the various kinds of bananas, planmeans bad. Perhaps the fault is in a tains, pawpaws, custard-apples, sour great measure owing to the butcher, sop, citrons, shaddock, ackee, sopotas, and we are always partial to our own avocata, tunnals, pitalli, ciayotte, chenmethod of preparing animal food. Of nini, genianil, granadilla, pomegravegetables and fruits there are few nates, dates, annonas, mangoes, starplaces that can boast such variety as apples, melons, gourds, tomatas, &c. Mexico, and none where the con- with which, and many others, this sumption is greater in proportion to market abounds in succession at varithe inhabitants. The great market is ous seasons of the

year. larger than Covent Garden, but yet

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SKITCHES OF SOCIETY.

(Euro. Mag)
THE STEP-MOTHER.

-Injustaque aoverca."-Virgil.
SALLY tells me that you are not that, when a second family occupies

my mamma,” said a pretty curl- the same roof, she will conscientiously ed headed boy of about four years of discharge her. common duty to both, age, laying great stress upon the pro- and make but one heart and feeling noun, and bursting into tears, as he prevail with all the children alike. addressed a beautiful young woman, The scene which had just passed bewho had become the wife of a rich fore my eyes filled my mind with widower ; “but," continued he, “I deep reflection, and I could not help told her that you was my ma, and thinking how momentous a thing it is, Nanny's too." " You did right,” said to introduce a wife, who is not the the Countess, “ I hope to prove my- parent of her husband's family, into self a mother to you both; for, in it. What jealousy! what injustice ! marrying your father, I made a vow what strife does not occur from such to have no separate interest or affec- a union ! bow many struggles to tions, to love what he loved, and to alienate prior affection, what poutings honour and obey his will,” then kiss- and strivings to do away with claims ing the child, and giving him an apple, of a former date ! A man and woshe dismissed him, smiling out of the man ought to think thrice, before room, and she never looked so en- they give a nominal mother to mothchanting. “ This is admirable, this is erless children. Purity is compromisas it ought to be," said I to myself, ed, delicacy is robbed of its celestial * but she is only the wife of a few bloom, and justice wavers when the months, and I sincerely hope that she buxom widow spurns her lone pillow, will continue as she has begun, and to give her children to a father-in

law, and herself a second lord. The petite, or of accomplished or disapcommencement of such engagements pointed mercenary designs. Neveris founded either in passion or in in- theless there is nothing more common terest, each of which is at variance in society, and we have daily proofs with the duty they have to perform of its baneful effects ; here we have towards unoffending children, often a fine youth prematurely hurried into made enemies from ill treatment, and the service of his country, to be killed I am at a loss to account for the off, or sacrificed to the yellow fever, preference usually shown to a second merely because he stood in the way family, by the parent of both ; the of Master Jackey, the produce of a contracting party who has but one second marriage : there we see lovefamily, more naturally leans to it, but liness and tender age a victim to rashthe mutual parent sins against nature ness, an out-cast, a run-a-way, because by such conduct, whilst the other the daughter of her who lies, perhaps, party offends honour and humanity in in a new made grave, sins by inherita minor, although not less dangerous ing her mother's beauty, and is a degree. Injustaque noverca applies contrast to a plain step-mother, who too generally to the second wife of must rule the roast, unrivalled and an uxorious widower, yet it depends uncontrolled. In one family, the child on her alone to merit a better name, of the first matrimonial engagement and it appears to my humble concep- flies home from having lost a father's tion, that a woman cannot more ef- heart—in another, a wretched daugh fectually endear herself to her hus- ter marries the first being that asks band, than by considering his children her, merely to escape the tyranny of and her own as a common stock in a strange woman, placed in usurped love, and by making their interest authority over her. In lower life, and happiness one common cause. step-fathers cruelly chastising the The stickling for preferences, in any wife's children, disgust the beholder shape, is the beginning of evil, and —and base women, breaking the spirit will end in misery and injustice, the of the children given in charge to taunts about unequal birth, fortune, them by the laws of society, awaken beauty, and (often ideal) merits, un- horror in an honest breast : doubtful dermine domestic peace, and often and dangerous however, as these reend in enormous crimes. Slighted peated nuptials are, it is possible to children run headlong to ruin and perform the double duties thus imdespair, take to idle habits and a vi- posed, and there are some rare excious life, imbibe at an early age, the amples to justify the remark. “What poison of envy and hatred, fall off is a step-mother ?” said Irish Pat to a from the duty and affection to a first neighbour countryman, “why," says parent, or pine in the wasting agonies Booney, “a step-mother is a step toof sensibility, wounded by neglect, wards being a mother, and yet no and engender an indifference as tó mother at all, at all.” Bravo! Masconduct; for remove the excitement ter Pat, but we will examine another tó well-doing, and mental inactivity picture. Lady Hartly ventured upon must ensue, deny the meed of praise, a widower of forty, he had five chiland exertion is blighted for ever. If dren du premier lit, and a second

my poor dear last husband," be a family of the same number was the horror and reproach to the second consequence of the second engagelucky adventurer, who fain would say, ment. Sir John was a sportsman, 6 would that he were alive !” surely and so completely neglected all of the go away you troublesome thing," them, that he could not be accused of to the offspring of him whom she is a. preference to any one of them, bound to love, honour, and obey, “there take them away when they must be equally grating a sound, and have had a glass of wine," was his as calculated to foster regrets, resent- daily order at dessert time, touching ments, and altered feeling, that sen- the second breed, “I shall be glad sation which takes place of sated ap- when the vacation is over, and the

brats return to school (or college),” à manner, as to captivate every one was his remark concerning the first, connected with the family. She whenever they were at home; but never addressed Theodore by any his mild matron-like lady was a moth- other name than “ my son ;” and he er to all without prejudice, prefere found in her a mother, a sister, and a ence, or injustice; she would play friend. Proud of her elegant form with the former like a child and a and good taste in dress, he was her school companion, and was the tender frequent attendant in public ; connurse and preceptress of the latter. vinced of her benevolent mind, she To reconcile one to another, to es was his adviser and confidant, ever tablish the closest links of affection sweetening and mellowing down the and amity between them, to recom- least rigid word or action of her husmend them to their father, to minister band towards his first-born. When to their innocent pleasures, and to he exceeded his pay and allowance, conceal their trivial faults, occupied her purse made up the deficiency; her whole time, and they repaid her and whenever he had committed an with the sincerest love. The lovely error, she was his apologist in the Laura married her guardian, a hand- first instance, his directress in the some man of fifty, for whom (on ac- second, and his consolatrix in care ; count of his age and the parental of- and when no remedy could be found fice which he had discharged towards for what had occurred, it was delighther) she entertained more respect and ful to see the two together. As a esteem than admiration or impassion- proof of the mutual sentiment existed feeling. He had a son of twenty- ing between them, I remember him one years

of age, an officer of Light one day introducing her to a foreign Dragoons, wild, expensive, and fond nobleman thus. Voila ma belle of pleasure, but of a good temper and mere, vraiment belle, elle est non feeling heart; he might have beheld seulement ma mere, mais ma meilany other step-mother with envy and leure amie.” The play upon the mistrust, or he might have viewed a words belle mere, makes all translabeautiful young woman thus paired, tion fall short of the original, but it with regret, or a criminal flame : but does not hinder it from being copied Laura was cast in such a gentle from that life, which would be a blessmould, that to know her was to be ing to society, and is what is advised her friend, and she fulfilled her du- by

Philo-SPECTATOR. ties as a wife and as a mother in such Aug. 1, 1824.

(New Mon.)

THE DEAN OF SANTIAGO.

A Tale from the Conde Lucanor. Good stories seem to be imperishable. They are, it is true, doomed to undergo many

transmutations, and to appear embodied under different forms ; but the informing spirit which captivates our attention, is the same, whatever language they speak. A tale may be often traced through every nation of Europe, till we lose it among the

wild traditions of the North, or the romantic lore of the East. There was a period in the growth of society at which the imagination had a peculiar

aptitude to conceive novel and striking combinations of characters and events-of moral actions and chances; of the power of the human wil and the external motives which oppose or modify it. At that period it was that the main store of tales was created, which every succeeding age and nation have made to undergo the changes which suited the originals to their own taste and notions. Indeed, the great difficulty in the invention of a tale appears to arise from the fewness of extraordinary situations which the world affords. Whatever, therefore, offers the means of introducing some source of novelty into a narrative, presents an opportunity of forming an interesting tale. Such means, however, decrease as the refinement of society advances. In the trạmmels of civilized life, the imagination is shorn of her wings, the judgment becomes sceptical and fastidious, the heart is rendered cold and cautious. We do not mean to

6 ATHENEUM VOL. 2. new series.

question the higher advantages by which these losses are compensated; but merely

state a fact which the observation of society at different stages makes obvious. It will be evident that we do not speak of the modern novels, in which the interest chiefly

arises from the play of the human passions which the complicated machinery of society puts into motion; but of the more simple species of tales, the offspring of pure imagination. The characters of the primitive tale and the modern novel are as distinct as the two states of society which produce them. The former springs from fancy, in the youth of mankind ; the latter is the fruit of dear-bought experience, at an advanced

period of the world. But though the states and dispositions of the human mind which respectively give birth

to these two kinds of composition, have little in common, man's taste for both is nearly permanent. There occurs, indeed, a temporary fastidiousness, which will not be amus. ed with stories that delighted our forefathers; but the artificial excitement which, for a time, unfits society for every thing not seasoned up to its feverish palate, gradually disappears; or, what is more probable, the source of our morbid cravivgs being exhausted by the very means invented to gratify them, the mind returns to a more natural

state, and feels refreshed by what it at one time loathed as tame and insipid. This relapse into a youthful taste may be observed no less in the mass of society, than in

individuals. The analogy may still be traced farther, if we observe that the revived taste of society for the primitive sports of imagination, not unlike the renovated zest for the amusements of childhood, which often appears on the decline of life, is a taste of sympathy, not of action. Society, after its maturity, may turn with pleasure to the contemplation of the simple play of fancy in which she delighted when young ; but, contented with a inere review of her childish toys, she would be ashamed at the at

tempt to contrive vew ones of the same sort. If partiality to a favourite author does not bias our judgment, the story of the Dean of

Santiago, which we subjoin, in a free translation from the Spanish of Prince Don Juau Manuel, is one of the finest specimens of this species of composition. But we must defer making any observations on its peculiar character till our readers have the story itself before them.

66

no busi

THE DEAN OF SANTIAGO. IT T was but a short hour before noon The dinner, which soon followed,

when the Dean of Santiago alight- was just what a pampered Spanish caed from his mule at the door of Don non would wish it—abundant, nutritive, Illan, the celebrated magician of Tole- and delicate.-“ No, no," said Don do. The house according to old tradi- Illan, when the soup and a bumper of tion, stood on the brink of the perpen- Tinto had recruited the Dean's spirits, dicular rock, which, now crowned with and he saw him making an attempt to the Alcázar, rises to a fearful height break the object of his visit, over the Tagus. A maid of Moorish ness, please your Reverence, while at blood led the Dean to a retired apart. dinner. Let us enjoy our meal at presment, where Don Illan was reading. ent; ar vhen we have discussed the The natural politeness of a Castillian Olla, the capon, and a bottle of Yepes, had rather heen improved than impair- it will be time enough to turn to the ed by the studies of the Toledan sage, cares of life.” who exhibited nothing either in his The ecclesiastic's full face had never dress or person that might induce a sus- beamed with more glee at the collation picion of his dealing with the mysteri- on Christmas eve, when, by the indulous powers of darkness. “I heartily gence of the church, the fast is broken greet your Reverence,” said Don Illan at sunset, instead of continuing through to the Dean, “ and feel highly honour the night, than it did now under the ined by this visit. Whatever be the ob fluence of Don Julian's good humour ject of it, let me beg you will defer sta and heart-cheering wine. Still it was ting it till I have made you quite at evident that some vehement and unhome in this house. I hear my house- governable wish had taken possession keeper making ready the noonday meal. of his mind, breaking out now and then That maid, sir, will show you the room in some hurried motion, some gulping which has been prepared for you ; and up of a full glass of wine without stopwhen you have brusled off the dust of ping to relish the flavour, and fifty oththe journey, you shall find a canonical

er symptoms of absence and impatience, capon steaming hot upon the board.” which at such a distance from the ca

thedral could not be attributed to the led the way to the lower part of the afternoon bell. The time . came at house ; and dismissing the Moorish length of rising from table, and in spite maid near a small door, of which he of Don Julian's pressing request to have held the key in his hand, desired her to another bottle, the Dean, with a certain get two partridges for supper, but not to dignity of manner, led his good-natured dress them till he should order it: then host to the recess of an oriel window, unlocking the door, he began to descend looking upon the river.--.“ Allow me, by a winding staircase. The Dean dear Don Julian,” he said, “ to open followed with a certain degree of trepimy heart to you ; for even your hospi- dation, which the length of the stairs tality must fail to make me completely greatly tended to increase : for, to all happy till I have obtained the boon appearance, they reached below the which I came to ask. I know that no bed of the Tagus. At this depth a man ever possessed greater power than comfortable neat room was found, the you over the invisible agents of the uni- walls completely covered with shelves, verse. I die to become an adept in that where Don Julian kept his works on wonderful science, and if you will re- Magic ; globes, planispheres, and ceive me for your pupil, there is noth- strange drawings, occupied the top of ing I should think of sufficient worth the bookcases. Fresh air was admitto repay your friendship.”—“ Good ted, though it would be difficult to guess Sir," replied Don Julian, I should be by what means, since the sound of glidextremely, loth to offend you ; but per- ing water, such as is heard at the lower mit me to say, that in spite of the know- part of a ship when sailing with a genledge of causes and effects which I have tle breeze, indicated but a thin partition acquired, all that my experience teach- between the subterraneous cabinet and es me of the heart of man is not only the river.—Here, then,” said Don vague and indistinct, but for the most Julian, offering a chair to the Dean,and part unfavourable. I only guess, I can- drawing another for himself towards a not read their thoughts, nor pry into the small round table, we have only to recesses of their minds. As for

your choose among the elementary works of self, I am sure you are a rising man and the science for which you long. Suplikely to obtain the first diguities of the pose we begin to read this small volchurch. But whether, when you find ume.” yourself in places of high honour and The volume was laid on the table, patronage, you will remember the hum- and opened at the first page, containing ble personage of whom you now ask a circles, concentric and eccentric, trianhazardous and important service, it is gles with unintelligible characters, and impossible for me to ascertain.”- the well known signs of the planets.“ Nay, nay,” exclaimed the Dean, “ This,” said Don Julian, " is the al“ but I know myself, if you do not, phabet of the whole science. Hermes, Don Julian. Generosity and friend- called Trismegistus The sound ship (since you force me to speak in ny of a small bell within the chamber own praise) have been the delight of made the Dean almost leap out of his my soul even from childhood. Doubt chair. 6 Be not alarmed,” said Don not, my dear friend, (for by that name I Julian ; “ it is the bell by which my

would allow me to call you,) servants let me know that they want to doubt not, from this moment, to com- speak to me.” Saying thus, he pulled mand my services. Whatever interest a silk string, and soon after a servant I may possess, it will be my highest appeared with a packet of letters. It gratification to see it redound in favour was addressed to the Dean. A conrier of you and yours.”—“ My hearty had closely followed him on the road, thanks for all, worthy Sir,” said Don and was that moment arrived at ToleJulian. 6 But let us now proceed to do. 66 Good Heavens !” exclaimed business : the sun is set, and, if you the Dean, having read the contents of please, we will retire to my private the letter

r; my great uncle, the Arch

bishop of Santiago, is dangerously ill. Lights being called for, Don Julian This is, however what the secretary

wish you

study.

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